A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how upside-down the SEC East was after 4 weeks of play.
Now, it's 6 weeks into the 2010 season, and things aren't any clearer. And that's after Florida has lost two games in a row. And not just two in a row, but two conference games in a row.
In the SEC East, despite those two losses, if Florida wins out, they'll still win the East. Same thing with South Carolina and Vanderbilt. Just as it was two weeks ago.
Because of how the remaining conference schedule is laid out, if Florida wins out, they would win the tie-breaker with either South Carolina or Vanderbilt. But, with their current situation of having two conference losses, they'd need to win out in order to win the East.
South Carolina has an easier ride. Their next three games are Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee. The Gamecocks should win those three. They finish the conference hosting Arkansas and playing at Florida. They don't need to win all those to take the East. They could afford one loss in that mix, just as long as the loss isn't to either Florida or Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt, as I mentioned, has the toughest schedule of the three. Their next four games are Georgia (away), South Carolina (home), Arkansas (away), and Florida (home). They finish at Kentucky and hosting Tennessee. If they beat both South Carolina and Florida, they could afford to lose one of those other games and still win the East. I don't expect them to, but, the funny thing is, they are still in position to win the East without help from anyone.
Not so with the other three teams in the East. If Georgia won out, they'd still need South Carolina to lose two conference games, and Vanderbilt to lose one in order to win the East. Any other scenario and UGA is out of the mix. Which means, they can be considered out of the mix.
And, as unlikely as UGA's situation is, Tennessee's and Kentucky's are even more unlikely.
But what about the West?
It's wide open. In fact, only Mississippi State and Arkansas would need help to win the West.
If Arkansas wins out, they's still need an Alabama loss to take the West. If Mississippi State wins out, they'd still need three losses by Auburn and LSU to sneak in.
But the other four teams control their destiny.
LSU, if they win out, takes the West. Same thing with Auburn. And Alabama, because of tie-breakers. And, believe it or not, Mississippi. Yes, the team that lost to Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt would win the SEC West if they won the rest of their conference games. But, seeing as how they still have Alabama (away), Arkansas (away), and Auburn (home) up next, with games at Tennessee and LSU still to come, capping it with cross-state rival Mississippi State, that seems pretty unlikely.
The fact is, all the contenders in the West have a rough schedule. Because they play each other.
The East is clearer. And makes more sense.
Except for the fact that Vandy is still in the mix.